Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Celebrating the female body

In two weeks, my daughter turns fourteen.

I am not ready. She is, or at least, she feels like she is, which makes her just like every other teenaged girl out there.

We've been having lots of discussions about body shapes. She and her best friend both play softball, and they both have moms who struggle with their weight. That's four different body types between us, each of us with our own styles and preferences. I lean toward boho rocker with a side of preppy thrown in, my daughter is slouchy kitsch, her BFF likes simple and slightly goth, while BFF's mom is all about comfort and ease. When we went out shopping on Sunday for a girls' day out, it was an interesting affair to say the least.

My favorite part of the whole day, however, was a comment I overheard when they were on my iPad, looking through a fashion website I subscribe to for curvier women. "Look at how beautiful she is. Why can't regular models look like real people, too?"

They have role models they look up to, but even when some of those role models might conform to an unrealistic ideal, others embrace our differences as women. I'm proud that she sees the world like that. I'm even prouder that I do what I can to promote that, which means when I do write heroines, they tend to not be a size six. These are women we need to relate to and celebrate. Especially when you're fourteen.